I agree with everyone else. Guns are like anything else and NEED to be put through paces, to ensure functionability. Never assume that a gun will work when its new..(trust me).
Also find out which ammo your gun likes the best.
I know that Combat Solutions offers an array of various defense and preparedness classes for this very scenario. Night shooting, night confrontations, home defense, defense classes for women, etc.
Get your blood pumping at the range before firing a few shots ..it makes things more realistic